Not having a camper (or a truck to haul one!), we get close to nature and sleep in a tent. Don't gasp! It's okay, really. We've made tent camping as comfy and convenient as possible, and here's how:
1. Go to a campground with running water, electricity, and showers.
Taking a shower each day makes all the difference. Electricity is a must for us to save money. I can brew our coffee, make meals using an electric skillet, and charge our phones :)
2. Get off the ground. Invest in cots or blow-up mattresses.
Sleeping on the hard ground gets old after about one hour. Cots and blow-up mattresses make tent camping bearable. We found less expensive cots at Kmart one year for less than thirty dollars each. Or you can use coupons at sporting goods stores. We've been camping for almost ten years, so those initial costs were worth it.
3. Buy a screened-in tent to create a make-shift kitchen.
We found one at a garage sale for twenty bucks, and it's a life-saver. Ours isn't the easiest to put up, but it keeps critters out of the food and provides a little shelter from rain. There are newer models that go up with ease if you don't mind spending a little more.
4. Two coolers. One plastic bin. Electric skillet. Coffee maker. These are essential.
One cooler holds drinks. The other cooler holds food. The plastic bin is for your dry foods (prevents moisture, bugs, and other creatures). We cook most of our meals in the skillet or on a portable grill. A coffee maker is a must--even if you don't drink coffee. You can heat water to wash your dishes. :)
We've learned the hard way that you want a cheap blue tarp under your tent (keeps the bottom clean and the ground moisture out). You also want a tarp tied over your tent. Yes, your tent will say it's rain proof, but trust me, it isn't. Tarps keep you and your belongings dry. Use them!
6. Keep camping necessities in a bin to bring every time you camp.
Ours holds a knife, dish soap, matches, garbage bags, rope, a hatchet, a hammer, tarps, lanterns, a spatula, a small tub to wash dishes, and a dust pan. We also keep an extension cord and a power strip in there.
We bought a smaller vehicle last year, so we had to purchase a cargo topper for this camping trip. We also didn't have room for one of our coolers. We improvised by purchasing all of our drinks and a throw-away foam cooler when we got to the campsite. The plastic bin with all our little things? When we set up camp, we move all the contents into the trunk and stored our food in this bin.
Tent camping allows us to enjoy a week away for little cost. We make most of our meals, spend time exploring the cute little towns nearby and hanging out on the beach. We hike a lot, sit by a campfire every night, and we unplug. There's nothing better than complaining about my creaky body while sipping a hot cup of coffee with my husband each morning. The air, trees, and birds seep into my soul. It's the best!
Do you ever go camping? What do you love about it? Or if you don't, why not?
Have a fabulous Monday!